Our Featured Artist is Ali Maya, a California-based singer-songwriter who creates beautiful, uplifting, healing music with a world flavor.
We would love to hear your answer to the question, “In what ways has grieving contributed you to your growth? Are you stronger? More compassionate? More empathetic?” To share your thoughts in our Facebook Page community, click here.
Our Shift Philanthropy section features Spirit in Action, which provides micro-grants to help individuals, families and grassroots organizations in Africa start small businesses and community programs; and The Schoolbox Project, which provides mobile, solar-powered schoolhouses offering trauma-informed education, art and play to children in refugee camps throughout Greece.
Click here for details about Mirabai’s brand new 7-week course, Calling in the Goddesses: Opening to the Wisdom, Love & Beauty of the Sacred Feminine, which begins on Wednesday, May 17.
It was a privilege to interview author, teacher and speaker Mirabai Starr about her poignant and beautifully written book, Caravan of No Despair: A Memoir of Loss and Transformation, which chronicles her most significant life experiences, and in particular the tragic loss of her teenage daughter, Jenny.
Click here to listen to the 24-minute interview and read the transcript.
West African elder Malidoma Somé explains the role of grief and sacrifice in ritual life, in particular the water rituals of his village in Burkina Faso, where days-long water rituals would simultaneously cleanse and pacify, while drawing people down from their daily lives into a kinship of ancestors. To listen, click here.
This excerpt from the book Return from Tomorrow by George C. Ritchie is without question the most powerful testament to the resilience and strength of the human spirit I’ve ever encountered. Every time I hear it, it takes my breath away.
Ritchie was a soldier in WWII who was part of a group assigned to a concentration camp near Wuppertal, Germany, after the war with Europe ended in May 1945. Ritchie’s team was charged with getting medical help to the newly liberated prisoners, many of them Jews from Holland, France and eastern Europe.
This touching Mother’s Day tribute to birth mothers was written by Lori Anne Yang for her blog, Mammaste. It is at once uplifting and heartbreaking, as one mother holds her child close while another loves from afar.
Join The Shift Network, The Gaiafield Project and people around the world for Global Shift Meditations the first of each month — click here to register for free. We featured Harold W. Becker, Founder and Director of the Love Foundation, on May 1, 2017. (The free recording is available here.)
My second marriage ended months after it began. I didn’t want it to, but the gap between our lifestyles kept widening, and splitting up soon became inevitable. I was heartbroken, but even as sadness seeped through me, I saw value in my grief.
By facing my grief head on, I healed myself in four months, which is better than suffering for four years . . . or forever. I hope my story of recovery offers comfort to others who are hurting. You can recover from a broken heart. You can heal. You can be whole again.
Mike Derheim, cofounder of The Nerdery, a Minneapolis-based custom software design and development company, suffered through the sudden death of his mentor, friend and business partner… twice. In this first-person profile, he shares the lessons he learned while coping with his grief.
Sally and I were married in 1982. Three years later, when our son Ronald was two years old, we knew something was terribly wrong. His subsequent diagnosis of autism, and my response to that diagnosis, changed everything in my life. Not only did it accelerate my process of awareness and consciousness, it profoundly changed my priorities. I was a highly paid senior corporate executive at Meredith Corp. and even had thoughts about becoming CEO some day. Instead, as I watched Ronald’s struggle to find his place in the world, I realized that I couldn’t do this anymore. I couldn’t keep traveling twenty-two weeks a year. Sally and I sat down and agreed that as soon as we had saved enough that we could get by financially, I would take early retirement.
We came to terms with the immediate reality of Ron’s autism by simply doing what we had to do — the education, the speech therapy. I tried to communicate with Ron in ways that were not traditional, such as putting my head against his head at night while he slept and trying to visualize positive outcomes. As you do these things, it sinks in. You come to grips with it little by little. It’s not an Aha! experience. You don’t say, “Gee, I’m over the grief now.” What you say is, “There’s so much joy in this life that it overwhelms the grief.”
In the film, Meet Joe Black, there’s a scene in which the angel of death comes to fetch Anthony Hopkins, who asks for an extra week to fulfill his last goodbyes by throwing a party for his 65th birthday. After the party, when it’s time for him to exit, Hopkins turns and remarks to the angel of death that a charmed life is hard to give up.
How many of us can turn to our lives and say the same words: “A charmed life is hard to give up?” What if you could put yourself through your “last week of this life” and be reborn as a new and improved you?
With the Kriyas Conscious Living gathering in ibiza, we do exactly that — celebrate your last week of life as you are now and guide you in recreating yourself so you can authentically say, “A charmed life is hard to give up.”
What would your high school diary reveal to you? Mine opened the door to my life’s passion, and led me on a path of service to help us all reconnect to our soul’s truth.
Fifteen years after high school I came across my diary, which I hadn’t seen in all those years. Sitting cross-legged on the floor, I read it from cover to cover. I laughed, I cried, I cringed, I became angry; but more than anything, I wanted to stretch my arms back through time and give that girl a great big hug.
One of my favorite things about working at The Shift Network is being appreciated for my whole self, not just for my abilities and strengths as they show up in my job.
In addition to being a Telesummit Coordinator, I also bake the birthday cakes and treats for our company’s local monthly birthday celebration.
Food has always been a theme in my life. I’ve been cooking real food, soups and stews — not just chocolate-chip cookies — since I was about nine years old, inspired by my aunt Florence and my Italian grandma. As a teen, I dreamed of going to the Culinary Institute in Hyde Park, New York, about 200 miles from where I grew up in New Jersey. I never got there.
This beautifully written memoir spoke directly to my heart. Mirabai's transparency and willingness to be emotionally naked and vulnerable are astonishing. Her openness to share her journey of grief and loss is undoubtedly a gift to those who are struggling with unimaginable losses. I was so very impressed with the quality of the writing as well. Dozens of times throughout the book, with just a few perfectly expressed and arranged words, Mirabai conveys an emotional power and depth that is nothing short of stunning. Her message is clear and powerful: even when the world is not large enough to contain your grief, and even though you will never again be who you once were, know that healing is possible, and that joy patiently waits on the other side of sorrow. Order your copy by clicking here.
After the sudden death of her husband, Sheryl Sandberg felt certain that she and her children would never feel pure joy again. “I was in ‘the void,’” she writes, “a vast emptiness that fills your heart and lungs and restricts your ability to think or even breathe.” Sandberg’s powerful, inspiring, and practical book is about building resilience and moving forward after life’s inevitable setbacks. Order your copy of Option B by clicking here.
Wendy Kaas will be leading community grief rituals in Boulder, Colorado on June 4, September 17 and December 3, 2017. Wendy was authorized to do so by West African elder Malidoma Somé in the tradition of the Dagara people of West Africa. In the words of Malidoma: "In indigenous Africa, one cannot conceive of a community that does not grieve. In my village, people cry every day. Until grief is restored in the West as the starting place where the modern man and woman might find peace, the culture will continue to abuse and ignore the power of water, and in turn will be fascinated by fire. Grief must be approached as a release of the tension created by separation and disconnection from someone or something that matters." For more details, click here.
If you’re ready to deepen your practice and immerse yourself in conscious community, then join us for four epic days of master classes, music, inspirational talks & celebration in the heart of Boulder. Featuring Seane Corn, Rod Stryker, Gurmukh Kaur Khalsa, Annie Carpenter, Amy Ippoliti, Sianna Sherman, Saul David Raye, Janet Stone, and so many more. Come together to raise the vibration! For more information, click here.
Join us for a week of deep spiritual exploration in the serene and beautiful surrounds of the Blue Spirit Yoga and Meditation Retreat Center in Nosara, Costa Rica (Blue Spirit has been named a Yoga Journal “Best Yoga Escape 2017”). We will be breaking down the walls of resistance by going deeper into peace and tranquility through meditation. The week will include in-depth exploration of the technology of Kundalini Yoga for re-rooting, rest and restoration of the Complete Self from the stresses of daily life. You’ll develop a fulfilling everyday discipline, creating devotional practice with Sadhana at the ambrosial hour, meditation and chanting, and breath walks on the oceanfront, experiencing deep immersion into the Soul! FOr more information, click here.
The Global Indigenous Wisdom Library is a collection of audio and video interviews featuring Indigenous leaders from around the world sharing prayers, sacred songs, prophecies, spiritual teachings and pathways to healing, as well as concrete examples for birthing a new era — one in which all members of the human family are treated with respect, understanding, compassion and justice. This sacred wisdom is important medicine for us all. The production of The Global Indigenous Wisdom Library is a gift from The Shift Network, designed to inspire, inform and involve you by highlighting the voices and important messages of Indigenous leaders from around the world. We thank all the speakers who have contributed to this body of knowledge! To learn more, click here.
Book by Stephen Dinan: Sacred America, Sacred World. Infused with visionary power, Sacred America, Sacred World is a manifesto for our country’s evolution that is both political and deeply spiritual. It offers profound hope that America can grow beyond our current challenges and manifest our noblest destiny, which the book shows is rooted in sacred principles that transcend left or right political views. To order your copy, click here.
Through God’s Eyes: Finding Peace and Purpose in a Troubled World by Phil Bolsta of The Shift Network. Through God’s Eyes is a road map for living a more peaceful, beautiful life. It’s the only book that shows you how dozens of spiritual principles interact, how to weave them together into a cohesive worldview, and how to practically apply this spiritual wisdom to bring joy and vitality to your daily life. One reviewer called it “the owner’s manual God should give you when you’re born.” To order your copy, click here. To request a sample chapter from the author, email Phil at GodsEyes@me.com.
World Peace Library— Free Resource — Be sure to take advantage of the World Peace Library, a wide-ranging resource on peace newly compiled by the Shift Network: It contains more than 300 inspiring talks and mini-workshops from individuals such as Archbishop Tutu, Nobel Laureate Jody Williams, Jane Goodall, Deepak Chopra, James O'Dea, Karen Armstrong, Chief Phil Lane and many more. With neuroscientists and lamas, faith-based activists and political leaders, this Library offers something for all in their peacebuilding efforts. The Shift Network has made the World Peace Library a free resource for all and encourages its use to promote peace in your families, schools, and wider community.
If you would like to submit something to The Catalyst, please see the submission guidelines: click here.
Call or send a heartfelt note to someone who is grieving a loss and offer to visit them; people who are grieving often feel alone and isolated, and simply sitting with them in silence could be therapeutic. You could also offer something concrete, like bringing over dinner or hiring someone to clean their home or do yard work. Everyone’s grief journey is unique, and your offer may be rejected, but your reaching out may provide some measure of comfort.
• Enneagram Global Summit
• Andrew Harvey 7-week course
• Mark Matousek 9-month program
• Mingtong Gu 7-week course
• Sandra Ingerman 12-week course
• Ryan Angelo 7-week course
• Yoga Day Summit
• Summer of Peace
• David Crow 6-month program
• Miranda Macpherson 7-week course
• Robert Moss 6-month program
• Sue Morter 7-week course
• Shamanism Global Summit
Chimwemwe Beza, who runs a small shop in Manyamula, Malawi, received a SIA Small Business Fund grant in 2013. Today her shop is successful and she reports, "My family is eating well these days.”
Spirit in Action International (SIA), a 501(c)(3) organization, supports grassroots community action in Kenya, Malawi and Uganda with small grants ($500 to $5,000) to local community-based organizations that are working together to reduce poverty and support vulnerable families. Their partners run job training programs in Nairobi slums, start low-interest loan cooperatives in rural Malawi, and support LGBT “inclusivity clubs” in Uganda.
They also provide families in Kenya, Malawi and Uganda with $150 microgrants and business training to help them take the first steps out of poverty and improve their lives. Rather than ask these entrepreneurs to pay back the funds, SIA’s Sharing the Gift initiative encourages them to pay it forward to support another family in their community. In this way, the impact of SIA continues to ripple long after the initial grant. Click here to visit their website and to make a donation.
The Schoolbox Project is a 501(c)(3) organization that provides mobile, trauma-informed education, art and play to children in refugee camps throughout Greece. They provide mobile, solar-powered schoolhouses that operate out of converted shipping containers. Their volunteers come from around the world and go through specialized training on how to work with children who have been through trauma and are living in a camp environment. Children in these programs are given 1:1 support at school and at home (tent, sidewalk squat, wherever is "home") to promote full inclusion and healing, while also avoiding retraumatization. To find out more and make a donation, click here.
The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe. We want to acknow- ledge the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe for their leadership and commitment to a nonviolent approach to DAPL. To learn more about the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, click here. To follow them on Facebook, click here.
Ali Maya is a California-based singer-songwriter who creates beautiful, uplifting, healing music with a world flavor. For most of her life she didn't even play music, but as she developed a profound connection with the power of love and devotion, her voice opened and she joyfully recovered her ability to play multiple instruments, as though that skill were embedded in her soul's memory. She began to write and share her music, much to the delight of all the people who fell in love with her transmissions, and released her highly anticipated debut album, Oceans of Compassion, in 2013. Now she brings us her second album, Ever-Flowing Fountain, which ranges from soothing, meditative songs to upbeat, rhythmic expressions of joy. The album was created with the prayer that each melody, rhythm and lyric carry healing and remembrance to every soul that receives its medicine, and it certainly delivers. You can listen to — and order — Ever-Flowing Fountain by clicking here.